Make No Mistake: Your Retirement Funds are in Grave Danger

from The Wealth Watchman

The Golden Years?

Folks in our time are slowly becoming more aware that governments are the last places on earth whose word you should take at face value.  From broken healthcare promises, to flagrant privacy violations, to illegal confiscation of assets, there’s no line that governments won’t cross.  Yet, oddly enough, with all the promises being broken left and right, most folks who are looking to retire in the not-too-distant-future aren’t taking the numerous threats to their retirement assets very seriously.

Particularly, in the last 5 years, the world has seen a disturbing trend of retirement asset seizures, and though the types of defaults or confiscations of retirement assets may vary, the cause of those pension thefts actually varies very little.  Pension promises are some of the most serious ones that governments make, and the rate at which these promises are being broken, further demonstrates how far gone the world financial system actually is.

The growing list countries who’ve seized or nationalized their citizens’ retirement assets(just since the 2008 Crisis) is both lengthy and disturbing.  When doing my research, there were cases of retirement confiscation/nationalization that I too, was unaware of.  Just take a look at a few on this list…

Poland: their government had a shortfall, so they chose to seize half of all private(not government) pensions, in order to readjust their balance sheet, and allow for more debts to be acquired.  It was such a stunning move to the Poles, because the talk, up to that point, had merely been about “reforming government pensions”, not taking private ones. 

Millions of Poles learned not to trust their government, after it was too late.

Bulgaria: Sofia seized early retirement accounts from private pensions from 9 different private funds, effectively taking control over all those assets.  This caused nearly a quarter million people to take it to court.  My advice to Bulgarian retirees: don’t hold your breath, waiting for justice!

Argentina: the government there recently stole $30 billion in private pensions, in order to shore up their budget deficit problems as well.  Yet they did it under the guise of “protecting” their citizens from falling stock prices(exactly the same rhetoric DC has used, to support their MyRA schemes!).

Hungary: although Hungary, hasn’t seized retirement monies yet, they have moved in steps to abolish their hybrid retirement system.  The assets of the private retirement system have been slowly cordoned off, and rolled into the government system, leaving many retirees feeling helpless should their politicians feel the need to “plug the budget gaps” with their life savings in the future.

Greece: most recently, in 2015, Greek pensioners were victims of “repo transactions”, as Athens seized monies in Greek pension accounts, in order to make a payment to international bankers at the IMF.

These instances didn’t happen decades ago, these have all occurred since the Financial Crisis of 2008.  Most of them have even happened in the last 5 years!

It never fails though, if you warn folks in the States about pension and government retirement defaults, they pivot, and always fall back on one classic phrase…without fail.

“Well, Watchman most of those are European countries.  That’s just how they do stuff in ‘commie Europe’…

This is America though, and(waaaait for it)…

“That could never happen here!”

Ah yes, all folks in the states have to do, is fall back to that impenetrable 5-word fortress of denial, and all imminent threats to their blissful confirmation bias are instantly neutralized!  Brothers, let me tell you, if I had an ounce of silver for every time I’ve heard that malarkey, the Comex would already be in default!

There’s just one teensie problem with their hypothesis though:

It has happened here….many, many times!

Been There, Done That

Most folks don’t remember this, but in 2011, when DC was bumping up against the debt ceiling, this winner took some drastic action…

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Yes, Treasury Secretary “Turbo Tax Timmy”, decided that the only “prudent” thing to do….was to keep paying DC’s bills….by taking the money from government pension accounts!  In fact, he ordered that all payments to those funds be re-directed into near-term bill payments, doubtless in an act intended to put political pressure on politicians to raise the debt ceiling for the zillionth time.

“Ok, Watchman, so it did happen here…one time!  Heck, it was an emergency though! In a state of emergency, I can be ok with a ‘one off”‘!”

What would you say then, if I told you that just 2 years later, in 2013…when the fictitious “debt ceiling” was in danger of being breached….Timmy opted to do the exact same thing again!?  You see, rather than a “one off”, it is a haunting pattern, that when DC finds itself in an uncomfortable financial position, that their henchmen go for the pensions first.

In fact, according to MoneyMorning.com, the feds have used federal pension funds no less than 6 times over the past 20 years, to bridge their funding gaps!  These guys are telling you, loud and clear, that when “the big one” comes…pension and retirement accounts, of all stripes, will be the first to get the axe.

It isn’t just on the federal level that this has happened though! In fact, just since 2010, there have been roughly 50 municipality bankruptcy filings!  While Detroit is the most famous municipal example of pension default and restructuring, Chicago is the newest member of the “junk” bond club.  It’s the latest reminder that the debt saturation has become so extreme, that there’s not a single floorboard of the foundation that isn’t rotten to the core.

Getting Away With It

I’ll be honest with you, in past times, when I’d witness another pension theft, I’d always think, “now that’s bound to jolt some folks outta their trance.”

Yet, time after time though, it hardly ever does.

To be fair, many of the victims don’t know of these other instances of theft, but even when they do, they still aren’t moved to action.

The thefts keep occurring, and the most frustrating part about it is…

The new victims are taken by surprise!  Every. Single. Time.

“Honestly, Watchman, why do folks keep putting up with it?  Why do they never learn?”

Well, there’s another, more disturbing reason, why I think many retirees have failed to heed all the warning signs in the realm of retirement assets: corporate, bankster media has repeatedly reinforced a narrative which paints concerned, informed citizens as crackpots.  They do this in the hopes that you’ll be ashamed of even suspecting anything untoward of your elected representatives.

Just get a load from this statement, from Bloomberg, on folks like us, who warn our fellow citizens to get out of the system:

“In most countries, it’s extremely unlikely that the government will outright seize pensions. In America, it’s nearly impossible to change Social Security or Medicare benefits, and the idea of the U.S. government confiscating everyone’s 401(k) is unimaginable to all but the most ardent conspiracy theorists. However, it’s not unrealistic to think that the American government could take a bigger bite out of individuals’ 401(k) assets with higher tax rates…”

There you have it!  Anyone who has the gall to believe that their life’s work and savings is theirs alone, and that DC is anything less than totally solvent, or that its bought-off representatives will be anything else but trustworthy, morally-upstanding individuals…is an “ardent conspiracy theorist”.

“Sticks and stones”, friend…sticks and stones. You’ve got to let that stuff roll off of your back!

Don’t you let someone cow you into complacency.  Don’t you let someone shame you into inaction.  You do your due diligence, and discover whatever it is you have to do in order to further safeguard your financial future, and let nothing hold you back.

Conclusion

The truth is that we are reaching the end of an enormously long, debt super-cycle, where nearly everyone’s borrowing limit has been maxed out. Whenever that happens, bankruptcy and restructuring always, always follows.  To do that, a great many promises must be broken first. 

For years, I’ve been warning folks in my own life, that there’s no such thing as a “safe” government promise about retirement.  Honor means nothing to these people.  When things become fiscally dicey, there isn’t a single vow or obligation that a government has made to you, that won’t be reneged on.

In the end, when governments are backed into a corner, and their survival is at stake, they will opt for their own self-preservation.  They’ll act in their own interests first, not yours.

The poor folks in Bulgaria had trusted in their constitution to keep their retirements safe.  They already know what US citizens must learn: when it comes to stopping government criminality, constitutions are truly worthless.  The kleptocrats that currently reside in the halls of power couldn’t care less what your constitution says, and to be quite frank…DC had first started to ignore the Constitution ever since the ink on it began drying, anyway.

No document will protect you.  YOU must do what is necessary to ensure that your life’s work isn’t sacrificed for some unscrupulous politician. You, and you alone, must safeguard what is rightfully yours.

In 2008, these high level crooks brought out the big guns.

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They were all too happy to sacrifice your wealth to maintain their power and privilege.  This will soon play out again…

When the next crisis hits, the same banking powers will be right back at it.  These men know that the only prayer they have to survive, is to seize everything they can grab.  From bail-ins to QE, from cash-infusions to retirement accounts..there’s nothing they won’t try to get their hands on.

Remember, these folks are all too happy to make you a victim.  They erroneously believe that the ends justify the means, and they live by the mantra that “you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs”…

Just be sure your egg isn’t used to make it.

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